You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

Tag: Falls Church (page 1 of 4)

Happy half-birthday, Benjamin!

Back on December 24, this tiny, helpless, wrinkly little guy entered our lives.

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Today it’s a mere six months later and he’s already grown significantly and become so much more capable.

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About a week ago he started sitting up on his own.

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On Sunday we launched our foray into baby-led weaning, giving him first first taste of solid foods. (It was a super juicy, ripe plum.) He seemed to really enjoy squishing tonight’s dinner of avocado and watermelon. Some of it even made it into his mouth!

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Benjamin’s been hanging out in the jumperoo for about a month now, and he loves it.

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He’s not quite as keen on the swing yet.

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Benjamin adores his big sister.

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He likes hanging out with the cat too, but I don’t think the feeling is mutual. He hasn’t gotten the hang of petting with an open hand yet.

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Another big milestone: Benjamin’s front bottom two teeth erupted this past month, and his constant gnawing makes me think more teeth are on their way soon. I better catch all these gummy smiles while I still can!

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A Good Day

We have a children’s book checked out from our local library right now called A Good Day. The gist of it is that several adorable animals encounter obstacles that threaten to ruin their day — squirrel loses his nut, bird loses his favorite tail feather, etc. — but they overcome their challenges and end up having A Good Day.

That sums up my day with the kids.

Benjamin woke up early to nurse, as he usually does, and never went back to sleep. So the day essentially began at 5:00 a.m. Early.

Unexpectedly, I didn’t feel that tired. I got to drink a full cup of coffee while it was still hot and to enjoy rare quiet time with Benjamin. I sang to him, watched him play, and enjoyed the feel of his soft, chubby skin.

Late in the morning we finally left the house, en route to a new (to us) splashpark in Arlington. Benjamin didn’t nap in the car as I hoped he would. I got the kids/towels/picnic blanket/food/diaper bag/stroller unloaded from the car, and about 10 minutes later it started raining.

Thankfully, I’d set us up under a tree, so we avoided getting too wet and just ate our lunch while waiting out the storm.

Benjamin was happy as a clam the whole time we stayed at the park, despite his missed nap. The fountains mesmerized him and he seemed excited to practice sitting on his own (a brand-new skill, as of today!).

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I forgot to bring toys for Audrey to play with, but a plastic container from our lunch did just fine as a substitute. And when Audrey fell and skinned her knee, she only cried for a moment before racing around collecting water again.

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We made it back to the car before a thunderstorm began, but having completely run out of wipes and disposable diapers, a stop by Target on the way home was unavoidable. And I had forgotten an umbrella.

So, I put Benjamin in the baby carrier, picked Audrey up, and covered both kids as best I could with our beach towel as I raced us all into the store. The storm had stopped by the time we left a few minutes later.

Back home by mid-afternoon, Benjamin went straight to bed, but Audrey didn’t even have “quiet time” in her room. Usually that means “witching hour” begins in force at 5:00 p.m. Tears, accidents, and constant demands are the norm — all while I’m usually dealing with a fussy baby, dinnertime prep, and a “starving” cat trying to trip me.

But we had leftovers to eat and Audrey entertained herself contentedly. Benjamin was in a great mood since he’d just woken up from a two-hour nap.

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Kenji didn’t make it home until 9:00 p.m., but that sure beats the 11:00 p.m. arrival time of last night!

Plus, it’s Friday!

It was A Good Day.

Audrey’s activities: making wardrobe decisions

For quite some time now (a year, maybe?), Audrey has been choosing her own outfits and pajamas each day. Sometimes this means she picks a summery dress on a snowy day, but hey, that’s fine by us as long as she wears a sweater and warm tights with it.

Naturally, Audrey has a few favorites. And by favorites, I mean one particular item strikes her fancy for the week (or month), so she picks that one each day until we convince her that it a) is in dire need of washing and/or b) she has lots of other nice items in her closet and dresser.

For the past several months, this pink tutu dress has made a frequent appearance, usually with these white pants.

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Seriously, I would estimate that she’s wearing this exact outfit in 75% of the photos we’ve taken of her since the fall. (Also, look at how good she’s gotten at using scissors! Cutting is one of her favorite activities.)

In recent weeks, Audrey’s branched out, wearing a different pink tutu dress (thanks, Grandnan!) and a pink dress with white embroidered flowers (thanks, Nana!) nonstop.

But nothing has really matched her love of the first pink tutu dress until Nana gave her and Claire these matching purple nightgowns last week.

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Since last Friday, Audrey has stayed in her nightgown as long as possible after waking up — quite a change from the girl who used to get dressed immediately after getting out of bed — and taken off whatever she’s wearing once we’re back home so she can put it back on.

It’s the perfect outfit for her favorite activity these days: spinning, dancing, and singing to the Frozen soundtrack.

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I think it’s safe to say we have officially entered the Princess Phase.

And then there were four…welcome, Benjamin (and happy three months)!

When I last wrote, we were anxiously awaiting our son’s imminent arrival (we were sure he’d be born long before my December 19 due date) and Christmas was right around the corner.
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Fast forward to today, and our little Benjamin is three months old!
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His arrival certainly made for a memorable Christmas.

I hope to write separately about his birth story before the details get too hazy, but for now I’ll just say: going into labor on Christmas Eve morning was quite emotional. I was excited to meet him, nervous about labor (which was induced insofar as the doctor broke my water), and sad about missing Christmas morning with Audrey. I worried she would be disappointed at missing Christmas morning with us. After all, we (Audrey and I) had only spent one night apart before then.

It turns out I had no need to worry about Audrey. She had a fantastic time spending Christmas Eve and Day with her Bowman cousins. (In fact, she keeps asking about future sleepovers!)
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Thanks to Claire, Santa knew just where to bring Audrey’s presents.
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But the best Christmas present of all was Benjamin Masuda Bohlin.
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On Christmas morning, Audrey and Benjamin met for the first time.IMG_4595

The day after Christmas, we headed home with our tiny new package, all 7 lbs. and 20.5″ of him.
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And since that day, there have been countless kisses, cuddles, and “exuberant hugs” (as my friend so aptly described them) between Audrey and Benjamin.
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I hope, now that I’ve finally gotten something posted on the blog again, that I’ll be able to capture his “firsts” here. (We’ve already seen his first smiles and his first roll from his tummy to his back.)

But I also hope to make note of the everyday moments, especially with Audrey, that are so special. Not to mention the funny things are three-year-old does and says these days!

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I was just moaning about being so behind on the blog (again! Or, still?) that Kenji said, “Just do something quick!” and sent me this adorable photo for posting.

So, here you go!

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Hopefully this will kick start my posts–especially before baby boy arrives in mid-December!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Santa Claus and his reindeer!

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I love that Audrey picked her own costume this year–and that this was her choice! She was adorable and she kept her whole ensemble on the entire time we were out trick-or-treating.

She had a great time going door-to-door. After receiving each treat, she said “More trick-or-treating!” We made it through (most of) two streets and came home with quite the full sack!

Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday!

Audrey’s first day of preschool

It is almost a year ago to the day that I dropped Audrey off at the Falls Church Day School for her first day of pre-preschool, in the Parents’ Morning Out program.

This morning, with the same backpack but with a new door to leave from, all different clothing, a much more extensive vocabulary, and a fiercer independent streak, we headed back to the school for her first official day of preschool!

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Audrey’s in the 2 1/2 year old MWF morning class with nine other children (kudos to those teachers). She has been so excited to start (“I’m ready for school!”), but she did get a bit shy and quiet as we dropped her off. And who can blame her? A new classroom, teachers, and friends to make — that’s a lot for a two-year-old to manage!

She did great, though. No tears when we left, although randomly this afternoon she told me “I cried at school.” Kenji caught a glimpse of her engrossed with a puzzle within minutes and I saw her happily walking back from the playground just before picking her up, so if she did shed tears, I am sure they dried quickly.

Audrey’s activities: movie night (with popcorn!)

We had our first movie night with Audrey on Friday!

The three of us cozied up on the futon to watch Finding Nemo — which, it turns out, is much scarier than I remembered (for a two-year-old anyway).

In general Audrey liked the movie, but watch she really got excited about was the popcorn.

June-July recap

August is here and the last blog post is dated June 1! Here’s a quick recap of the past two months:

1. In mid-June, we tagged along for Kenji’s work conference in San Diego, CA. The trip started out rough — Kenji had a 103 degree fever the day we flew cross-country — but by the end of the week he was fully recovered and we’d seen (many of) the San Diego sights.

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See San Diego photos. (I’m trying out a new system of uploading sets to Flickr since I can’t fit many in the blog posts themselves. Let me know what you think!)

2. From San Diego, we flew north to Portland, OR to visit the west coast Spains. We had lots of laughs, great food, and fun adventures with my brothers, sisters-in-law, and niece. We only get to see them a few times a year, so it’s always a special treat to be together.

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See Portland photos.

3. We announced officially that Audrey is going to be a big sister! I’m 20 weeks as of yesterday, and we found out that it’s a…BOY! Baby boy Bohlin is expected on or around December 19.

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4. About a week and a half after we got back from our west coast trip, we moved. (Only about a 1/3 mile, thankfully. We love our neighborhood and are so fortunate to be able to stay here.)

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Audrey seems delighted with the new house. Occasionally she’ll mention the “yellow house,” as she now refers to it, but never in a sad or longing way. She seems to especially enjoy the two sets of stairs in our new house (technically, a townhouse) and her new room.

5. A few weeks ago, Audrey transitioned from her crib to a “big girl bed!”

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This is probably the most exciting event of the summer from Audrey’s perspective. She loves that little bed and really treats it like her own domain. We are not allowed to even sit on it.

Thankfully, naps and bedtime are still going smoothly. She sometimes comes out of bed, stands at the top of the stairs, and calls for water or help finding her paci, but generally she’s been staying in bed after we tuck her in. In the morning she’ll usually call to us until we go in her room.

6. In July, a friend arranged for a group of us to visit the fire station just down the street from us. It was great — Kenji and I enjoyed it as much as Audrey! The firefighters were incredibly accommodating, spending an hour showing us the trucks and the interior of the station. And all of the children left with their own hats.

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See fire station visit photos.

So, there are the big events of the summer (so far). We’re looking forward to a visit from Grandnan and Granddad in a few weeks, but hopefully otherwise this will be a fun, but calm, month ahead.

So long, May. Hello, June!

I don’t usually feel this way, but I’m pretty happy to see May come to end. The past few weeks included some seriously low points:

1. We said goodbye to a friend.
2. We found out we need to move out of our house. This summer.
3. Kenji worked extra long hours, gearing up for his work’s annual meeting.

That being said, it included some high points too.

1. My birthday! Kenji and I went out on a long-overdue date. (Thanks again, Mariana, for babysitting!)

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2. Mother’s Day. Always one of my favorite days of the year.
3. We took Audrey to the National Aquarium in Baltimore and then got to see my friend Carly, who was in the city for a conference.
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4. Audrey rode a pony at the annual Falls Church Memorial Day festival. (More photos and details on this fun event to come in a separate post soon.)
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5. We celebrated Audrey’s last day of preschool until the fall at a special Hawaiian-themed party. (Hmm, this is kind of a low point too. Ha.)
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And then there were the small joys (and yes, frustrations) of everyday life with a two-year-old. Generous hugs and kisses, funny conversations, tantrums, messes, art projects, dress-up, park excursions, three-hour (!) naps, and much, much more.

We’ll see what June brings.

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